Wednesday 9 February 2011

Review: Unknown - Rachel Caine

For millennia, Cassiel was a powerful Djinn.  But then she defied her ruler, who cast her out and reshaped her in human flesh as punishment.  She found refuge among the Wardens - and discovered that her perceived human weaknesses may be her greatest strengths.

Living among mortals, Cassiel has begun to develop a reluctant affection for them - especially the intriguing Warden Luis Rocha.  As the mystery deepens around the kidnapping of innocent Warden children, Cassiel and Luis are the only ones who can investigate within both the human and the Djinn realms.

But the more Luis and Cassiel search, the more dangerous the trail becomes, reaching not only into a fanatical splinter group, but into the highest ranks of Cassiel's immortal kin.  An outcast from her own kind, Cassiel must now rely on her own limited earthbound powers to save the young Wardens...if it's not already too late.

Outcast Season Series:
(This is a spin off from The Weather Warden Series)

The Weather Warden Series:
Ill Wind
Heat Stroke
Chill Factor
Thin Air
Gale Force
Cape Storm
Total Eclipse

Visit Rachel Caine's Website for more information.

I've said it before but I'll happily say it again - I'm a massive fan of Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series, in fact I'd rate it right up there amongst my all time favorite urban fantasy series for it's fast paced, action packed, unique story lines and fantastic well drawn out characters.  Of course I was expecting to like the spin off Outcast Season series but what has surprised me is the fact that I think I'm growing to love these books even more than I love the Weather Warden ones.  Although I would recommend reading the Weather Warden series first I think you can probably pick up this series first if you prefer - I would say it's vital to read each series in order though so don't read Unknown unless you've already read the first Outcast Season book Undone.

Cassiel was one of the old Djinn, one of the first who was created and has been around since before humans even existed.  She has been cast out by her leader Ashan after refusing to obey his order to destroy humanity and is now in human form.  Cut off from her own source of power she has been forced to work with the Weather Wardens so she can use them as a link to gain the power she needs.  This isn't easy for Cassiel who has never had any interest in humans before but living among the Wardens has started to change her in ways that she would never have expected.  She has found herself growing to care for some of them, Luis and his niece Ibby in particular.  With Weather Warden children going missing, seemingly taken by an old enemy that Cassiel believed was dead, it is up to Cassiel and Luis to try and figure out what is happening and find a way to get the children back.

Jo (from the Weather Warden series) is one of my favorite fictional heroines and in a lot of ways Cassiel is her complete opposite but I love her just as much.  I love the way Rachel Caine has captured her personality and made her thought process feel so alien.  From everything we know of the Djinn from the previous series the majority of them come across as cold and uncaring and this shows through in Cassiel.  As much as they don't sound like great qualities to have in a heroine it is the way that you see Cassiel change as the books progress that make her such a lovable character.  Watching her come to care for those around her has been really interesting but I also love the way that she still does or says things that prove she still has more to learn.

I'm also really liking Luis and the way things are developing between the two of them.  There was no trust between them in the beginning but they are slowly coming to rely on each other.  The chemistry between them is great but their romance has a slow build to it that I'm enjoying.  Things between them are both sweet and funny (especially Cassiel's thoughts about Luis and the effect he has on her) but I'm expecting the heat levels to go through the roof when they finally get their acts together.

If you're already a fan of the Weather Warden series then you'll know to expect a action packed thrill ride when reading any of Rachel Caine's adult books (I'm sure this is probably the case in her YA Morganville vampire series too but I've not read any of them yet so I can't comment) and Unknown will not disappoint.   If you liked Undone then you're sure to love this installment to the series and if you haven't started reading the Outcast Season books yet then you should definitely give them a try.

Source: Library

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